Chicago Theater sold to Madison Square Gardens

Ornate balcony of the Chicago Theater  chicagotheater-atnight.jpg  chicagotheaterstatestreet1.jpg

The Chicago Theatre is being sold to New York’s Madison Square Garden Entertainment, according to a published report.

“Madison Square Garden has agreed in principle to purchase the Chicago Theatre,” according to a statement from a spokesman for Madison Square Garden Entertainment. “However, there remain several additional details that must be worked out before the purchase can be finalized. We look forward to completing the transaction as quickly as possible and will comment further at the appropriate time.”

The 3,600-seat theater is located on State Street in the Loop business district.  It opened in 1921, originally as a lavish movie palace, and features a landmark marquee.

November 7, 2007 | 0 Comments More

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” unexpectantly closes

rockyhorror.jpgLooks like The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Mercury Theater will be unexpectantly closing tomorrow (Sunday)!  The show had recently been listed as running into December, and when it opened there were hopes that it would run indefinitely.  Although Rocky… received generally passable reviews (recommended by the Trib and TimeOut, and highly-recommended New City), this wasn’t enough to keep it chugging along.  Chris Jones offers some comments and advice

Even though there’s no time left to see it live, you can see 3 video clips here.

November 3, 2007 | 0 Comments More

“Dirty Diamonds” – a gem for Factory Theater’s 15th Season!

Dirty Diamonds, by Mike Beyer and directed by Manny Tamayo, tells the story of a Las Vegas man who quickly gets tangled up with a femme fatale, who entices him into a plan to recover some buried diamonds. Together, along with the woman’s ex-boyfriend, they work to recover the diamonds in time to hand them over to a murderous drug kingpin. Little do they know the kingpin has other plans for them. This “dark, comic thriller” appears to be the perfect production to mark Factory Theater’s 15th season.  For example:

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune concludes:

Dirty Diamonds may be populated by archetypes, but they are believable within the framework of Beyer’s script. The production is expertly directed by Manny Tamayo.) The play is pure genre — a square gets mixed up with a criminal element — but a genre done well can be blissfully entertaining.”
Read entire review.

Kudos to the folks at Factory Theater for this “dirty” gem!

November 2, 2007 | 0 Comments More

“August: Osage County” racks up 6 Jeff Awards!

Osage County set

While director Anna Shapiro was busy in New York, in the middle of previews for Steppenwolf Theatre’s August: Osage CountyBroadway run, the original Chicago production handedly took home 6 Jeff Awards for the Tracy Letts’ play, including:

* Best Production
* Best Ensemble
* Best New Work: Tracy Letts
* Best Director: Anna D. Shapiro
* Best Actress in a Principal Role: Deanna Dunagan
* Best Scenic Design: Todd Rosenthal

Congratulations to Steppenwolf for these much-deserved awards!

Speaking of “August….”, Steppenwolf has posted a new video on YouTube – a rough interview with some of the ensemble members (Jeff Perry, Francis Guinan, Amy Morton and Mariann Mayberry) regarding the process of bringing the play to New York.  Check it out…

November 1, 2007 | 0 Comments More

Rave reviews for Theo Ubique’s “Cabaret”!!

Cabaret Poster

Looks like Theo Ubique Theatre has a big hit on their hands up in Roger Parks’ No Exit Cafe.  Across the board, the reviews have been stellar, including:

Beverly Friend from the Pioneer Press:

The magic begins as the audience enters the No Exit Cafe, now reincarnated as Berlin’s 1930’s decadent Kit Kat Klub complete with cast members waiting tables and — for those who include dinner in the evening’s festivities — bringing out brimming plates of knockwurst, sauerkraut and spaetzel or vegetable pot pie. The hot, tasty food provides as much nourishment for the body as the story line nourishes the heart and soul…

If you haven’t seen any version of “Cabaret,” what are you waiting for? Get going. It doesn’t get any better than this!   
Read the entire review here.

     Cabaret Cast  Cabaret3

And Tom Williams over at ChicagoCritic.com opines:

Director Fred Anzevino sure knows how to stage a musical on his tiny No Exit Cafe stage. His skillful blocking and smart use of the tight knocks and crannies gave his production of Cabaret an emotional edge that catapulted us back to the 1930 Kit Kat Club of Weimar Berlin. Featuring the rich John Kander score on Fred Ebb’s biting lyrics, Cabaret is a multi-layered musical of decadence and desperation. Based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel, Berlin Stories, Cabaret from its 1966 Broadway opening (winner of 8 Tony’s) and the 1972 film (winner of 8 Oscars) has been mounted often to varying levels of success. Theo Ubique’s production is superb in every aspect. It sings well, dances expertly and is acted richly. In short, this production deserves packed houses-it is that good!

Read the entire review here.

October 31, 2007 | 0 Comments More

Henry Godinez named as Northwestern University artistic director

Henry Godinez, celebrated playwright and resident artistic director at the Goodman Theatre, has just been named as the artistic director of NU’s Theatre and Interpretation Center on the Evanston Campus.  Although this is a new position for Godinez, he is more-than-familiar with Northwestern, as he has held a position of assiciate professor there for 2 years. 

Congrats are in order for Godinez’s new position. And with his Henry Godinez’s new play The Cook opening this week at the Goodman, can anyone say busy man????

Godinez also curates the Goodman’s biennial Latino Theatre Festival and has produced plays for the Chicago Children’s Theatre as well as Teatro Vista Theatre.

October 29, 2007 | 0 Comments More

“Jersey Boys” sets theater sales record

Good news indeed for the folks over at Broadway In Chicago (not to mention the show’s investors) – “Jersey Boys“, running open-ended at the LaSalle Bank Theatre, has set a house record in gross ticket sales for the week ending on October 21 – a total of over $1.1 million dollars!  This still runs behind the records over at Wicked, but the Oriental Theatre also has a much larger seating capacity. 

A new block of tickets for Broadway-in-Chicago’sJersey Boys” will be going on sale the second week of November, covering performances through July 2008.

October 25, 2007 | 1 Comment More

Ana Gasteyer talks to Chicago Tribune about “Passion”

Here’s a great interview with Ana Gasteyer, the lead in the Chicago Shakes‘ musical production Passion, by Stephen Sondheim.  The interview also includes Tony-award winning director Gary Griffin.

October 24, 2007 | 0 Comments More